Durban - Drakensberg - KZN Safari

Big 5 safari, scenic mountains and history


Bianca knows her stuff so her handpicked tour brings you the best of KwaZulu-Natal - KZN for short. Start off with a relaxing night by sea in Durban, then head out to the Drakensberg across the majestic Midlands Meander and go hiking and horseriding. Discover the Battlefields of Isandlwana, Rorkes Drift and Spioenkop and enjoy an amazing KwaZulu-Natal Big 5 safari in the exclusive Phinda Game Reserve.

Note: This tour is just a guideline. You can reverse it, extend it or shorten it; you can upgrade or downgrade accommodation or change it in any other way to suit your budget and requirements. Contact us to plan your tailormade trip.

Day 1 - 2: The Oyster Box, Umhlanga, Durban

Collect your hire car from the airport and make your way to The Oyster Box Hotel on the seashore at Umhlanga Rocks just north of Durban*.

The Oyster Box is a delightful five-star hotel right on the rocks from which Umhlanga gets its name. With an infinity pool and terrace facing the warm Indian Ocean and a variety of bars and restaurants to choose from, the Oyster Box is an ideal place to relax and unwind after your flight.

* Note: if the half-hour drive from the airport to Umhlanga Village sounds a bit much after your long flight let us transfer you directly to the hotel and have your car delivered.

Meals: breakfast

Day 2 - 4: Hartford House, Drakensberg and Midlands

You have a short hour and a half drive from Durban into the scenic Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal: the gentle rolling hills that rise into the Drakensberg Mountains. Your home for two nights is the wonderful Hartford House, complete with trout lake, stud farm and one of the best restaurants in South Africa. Officially.

Activities on the estate include a guided tour of the world-renowned stud, horse riding (of course), trout fishing, hiking, tennis, swimming, wellness treatments and guided tours of the historic battlefields.

Meals: breakfast

Day 4 - 5: Three Trees Lodge, Zululand and the Battlefields

After breakfast, you leave behind South Africa's highest mountains and head northeast towards the famous Battlefields region. Check into Three Tree Hill Lodge, in the hostoric Spioenkop Battlefield where the Boers resisted the English advances from atop Spioenkop Hill.

Go on a guided tour of the region which brings this famous battle to life. With a long and complex history since the early 1800s, Spion Kop (Spy Hill) and the Tugela River Valley presents a fascinating insight into the history of modern South Africa and the guided tours at Three Tree Hill Lodge receive regular and widespread praise. The lodge itself is luxurious, tranquil and equipped with magical views in all directions.

Meals: full board including local drinks

Day 5 - 7: Fugitive's Drift Guesthouse, Zululand and the Battlefields

Your scenic historical tour continues as you head north to visit the famous battlefields of the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War. Explore the sites of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift where the British suffered their biggest defeat and their biggest victory in the course of one day. Survivors from Isandlwana crossed the Buffalo River at a place which came to be named Fugitives Drift and this is exactly where your safari lodge is located.

Led by historians, thought-provoking and often emotionally charged tours are conducted daily to Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. Walks and horse rides through the reserve to view abundant game and birdlife are offered as well as fishing the 20km frontage on the Buffalo River. Accommodation is in large chalets with en suite bathrooms and private verandahs with a view of the reserve.

Meals: full board including local drinks

Day 7 - 10: Phinda Mountain Lodge, Phinda Game Reserve, KZN Safaris

Leave the Battlefields behind taking with you a wealth of history and head eastwards to Phinda Private Game Reserve. An exceptional safari from &Beyond, this exclusive reserve hosts the Big 5 and an array of plains game in a spectacular setting.

All the lodges offer the utmost in luxury and your choice, Phinda Mountain Lodge has glorious rooms with wrap-around views of the scenic Ubombo Mountains and the South African bush below. It really does promise a world-class Safari. Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives with your expert ranger, guided bush walks, sleep-outs and romantic dinners in the bush. Or you can just relax on your private balcony and watch the animals pass by and listen to the birds overhead.

Meals: full board including local drinks

Day 10: Departure

After one last game drive and breakfast, check out of the Phinda Game Reserve and drive south along the N2 to Durban for about three hours to continue with your onward travel arrangements.

Tailormade Itinerary

As with all the tours on our website, this is just an example of what you can do. We create our tours from scratch every time, matching the destinations and accommodation not only to your budget but also to your individual tastes and needs.

You can stop off along the North Coast with its beautiful beaches and tropical waters, or spend a few days getting to grips with the pulsating port city of Durban. Just let us know and we can extend or adjust your itinerary.

Contact us now to begin planning your dream safari holiday.

Need advice?

These tours are simply an indication of what’s possible. Our team of travel experts will tailor any itinerary to your requirements, travel dates and budget.


Prices vary according to seasonality, availability and your logistical requirements. Contact us for a FREE tailor made quotation today.

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